Thursday, November 12, 2009

Game on! Who’s up for some petanque’?

Down in the heart of Detroit, people on pistas rolling silver boules at cochonnets caught my attention the other day, mostly because I don’t know what any of those things are.

Turns out, it was the Detroit Petanque Club meeting as they do everyday from noon to 1 o’clock in Cadillac Square, right next to Campus Martius Park. I watched them play Petanque (pronounced: pa-TONK)  for a little bit, but I only picked up a few of the rules. It’s a lot like bocce ball, except the balls (called “boules”) are silver and a little smaller. You stand inside a ring and roll the boule at a cochonnet (a small wooden ball).

The courts where the game is played are called pistas, and apparently the Detroit Petanque Club is in such good standing with the city that a few of them were put in when the Campus Martius area was reworked a few years back. To the untrained eye, it looked like tightly packed gravel.

As I was getting ready to leave after I watched and took a few pictures, the guy in this photo invited me to play a few games. Any time, he said, they’re there every lunch hour. Now, I didn’t point this out to him, but give me about a half-hour to develop a touch, and I predict I will absolutely dominate. Stay tuned to the Kage for details.

To read more about the DPC, click here.